The Winning Formula
Leadership, Strategy, Motivation, the F1 Way
Formula 1 is unique among mainstream sports in that it is both an individual and team endeavour; it requires immense physical strength, bravery and skill but also incredible intellectual ability, mainly (but not exclusively) in the field of engineering. The skills it fosters have obvious applications in everyday life and business and this book aims to distil them into a handy guide. It could go very wrong, ending up as little more than a dry-as-dust management manual hiding behind the glamour of Formula 1. But Coulthard and his co-authors (Martin Roach is credited and so is the excellent Mark Gallagher) manage to make the book zip along at a fair old lick while avoiding too much self-help jargon, barring the odd “be the best version of yourself” lapse.
Coulthard’s obsession with work ethic comes out clearly, but so too do his feet-on-the-ground manner and occasional flashes of self-aware humour: signing for Red Bull from McLaren resulted in a pay cut that meant he wasn’t earning enough to cover his “burn rate… because my life had expanded to include such things as planes and boats.” There are also surprising nuggets of detail: interviewed by Frank Williams for a drive, the team boss demanded to see his abs as proof that he was taking his training seriously.
Overall, this is a diverting and at times enlightening book that ultimately delivers on its aim of showing how skills honed in F1 can be used away from the track. JD
Published by Blink Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-788700-11-5, £20
Circuit Paul Ricard
Les Seigneurs de la F1
There are several sides to Paul Ricard. When it opened in 1970, little more than a year before hosting the first of its 14 French Grands Prix, it represented motor racing’s shiny new face, with cutting-edge safety facilities and – a sign of the sport’s changing ways – its own private airstrip.
Time’s passage added a certain patina and, following the permanent loss of the GP to Magny-Cours at the dawn of the 1990s, it became a rather soulless place, a popular test venue but only an occasional racing host. F1 seemed a million years distant… particularly after the French GP was axed altogether beyond 2008.
And that’s how things stayed until race and Ricard made a surprise return to the calendar 10 years later, much of the venue’s bygone polish finally having been restored.
In honour of the circuit’s illustrious past (and, hopefully, future), respected writer Daniel Ortelli – cousin of 1998 Le Mans winner Stéphane – has compiled a weighty circuit history featuring a barrage of detail and, perhaps more importantly, the photographic input of three of France’s finest lensmiths (Bernard Asset and the Cahiers père et fils, Bernard and Pierre-Henri).
It’s a sumptuous undertaking at something of a bargain price, covering everything from the earliest days to the post-F1 decline and pre-2018 redevelopment, and the images – a blend of cars, people and context – are uniformly splendid. The downside, for some, will be the all-French text, but a) that’s what you get for paying insufficient attention at school and b) the pictures alone should justify the modest outlay. SA
Published by Éditions Gilletta
ISBN: 978-2-35956-102-9, €29.90
Fascinating F1 Facts
Playful, punchy and often poignant, Joe Saward’s two-volume set of Fascinating Formula 1 Facts covers an enormous amount of ground, from the origin of the term ‘Grand Prix’ in the late 18th century, to F1’s connection with the banana business.
Each fact is divided into page-long articles, each often beginning with something completely unrelated such as a rant about America’s foreign policy and the role of immigrants in a strong economy; if you’re a fan of his blog, rest assured that Saward’s voice is not lost in this compendium of short stories on F1.
Sometimes, Saward enters into a pattern of listing names and dates, Wikipedia-style, delving into deep-rooted family trees connecting drivers such as Didier Pironi and José Dolhem. What begins as an interesting family connection sprawls into a convoluted family history, and ends on a tragic note. The tone of Saward’s fact-filled volumes veers from light-hearted to downright depressing – but it underlines the fact that motor sport has long been a heartbreaking pursuit.
There are 200 stories here and they originally appeared as part of a free-to-view series on Saward’s blog, so at £19.99 each – or £35.99 for the pair via flatoutpublishing.com – the price seems a bit lofty. But if you’ve got a pub quiz coming up with a prize fund, Saward’s sprawling collection of yarns could earn you a small profit. If you’re looking to impress your colleagues through a wealth of carefully compiled certitudes, with some tenuous F1 connections included in the mix, then Saward’s set of facts makes a priceless acquisition. SK
Published by Morienval
ISBN: 978-0-9554868-3-8, 978-0-9554868-4-5, £19.99 each or £35.99 for both
Bentley 4½ Litre
Owners’ Workshop Manual
Andy Brown & Ian Wagstaff
There is a certain charm about the continued existence of Haynes manuals. In an age when car manufacturers make it ever harder to access bits beneath the bonnet – there is a series of YouTube videos that explain how to change light bulbs on certain models, which really shouldn’t be necessary – Haynes continues to outline the finer points of everything from recent Ford Fiestas to Ferguson tractors, Volvo 240s and, here, the Le Mans-winning talisman once described (by Ettore Bugatti) as the world’s fastest lorry.
The recipe is the same as ever: a bit of history, a few nice period photos and plenty of drawings outlining how best to dismantle the rear suspension, the whole contained within a familiar (aka pedestrian) design template. SA
Published by Haynes
ISBN: 978-1-78521-070-9, £22.99